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Powell River Legion holds mini candlelight tribute for veterans

Annual ceremony scaled back due to COVID-19 pandemic
Powell River Legion secretary/treasurer Karen Crashley
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 164 secretary/treasurer Karen Crashley at the Veterans Memorial in Powell River Regional Cemetery. Contributed photo

COVID-19 has affected another event in Powell River, putting a damper on Royal Canadian Legion Branch 164’s annual candlelight tribute at Powell River Regional Cemetery in Cranberry.

“We decided to show our thanks and do a mini candlelight tribute to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, as well as commemorate VE [Victory in Europe] Day,” said branch secretary/treasurer Karen Crashley. “We posted the signs, crosses, Canadian flags and the candles on the afternoon of May 2 and lit the candles at the Veterans Memorial.”

The candles stayed lit until Sunday, May 3, honouring all veterans interred in Cranberry. Veterans interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Kelly Creek were also recognized, according to Crashley.

Due to the current pandemic, the annual parade and march into the cemetery by veterans and cadets, the public service and prayer, and a dinner for veterans and spouses at the Legion were cancelled.

“Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 crisis, we cancelled this annual event for this year,” said Crashley. “Hopefully we can do the ceremony in 2021.”

A sign posted near the memorial read: “These candles are lit in tribute to our veterans who are resting here or in other areas. We cannot gather in tribute this year for the 75th year since the liberation of Holland, however, we will remember them.”